Thursday, February 25, 2016

Adios February

I can't believe how the past week has flown.  Here we are approaching the end of February already.  I must be getting old!

A week ago today I had the most delightful day at Quilt Con.  The quilts were amazing, but even better than that was meeting up with so many quilters whom I have followed through their blogs, bees and e-mails.  I was terrible with my camera as I was enjoying the company way too much, but you will have to trust me when I said I loved every minute of it.  Lunch and dinner were both fabulous and gave us such a good opportunity to chat with each other.  I hope Pasadena has recovered from all of the fun.

This week has involved a lot of yard work so sewing was on the back burner.  My cacti are all blooming.  This is a special one as it is a section from a plant that once belonged to my grandmother.  Aren't the colors beautiful?

Right below the cactus are two pots of cyclamen.  These pots are probably 9 or 10 years old, but are just as pretty each year.  I know that I should divide them, but that tasks also keeps being placed on the back burner.  That back burner is getting crowded.

My mom has a birthday tomorrow and my sister's is next week so I got busy and did birthday postcards for them.  My sister may read this post so I can't show hers until she receives it, but here is my mom's.

As an update to her hummingbird nest......two little hatchlings appeared last Thursday.  Notice how short their beaks are.  The nest looks big here, but it is about 2" in diameter.  You can imagine how tiny the little birds are.

This is five days later.  They are filling the nest quickly and will soon be flying off.  ;-(   You can see the beaks starting to form a point,

As well this week I quilted my Hillside Houses quilt.  I ended up doing a Wiggle Worm quilting pattern on it.  I had wanted to do special quilting on each house, but I just wanted to get it finished.

 Loved the little houses for the backing....

It is now residing at the foot of the guest room bed.

Speaking of guest room.....our guest room is going to be filled for the next few weeks with our dear friends from the U.K.  They arrive tomorrow so I will be away from the computer as we enjoy our time together.  Stay well and enjoy your stitching while I am away.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Spring Into Summer

It appears that we have skipped spring and jumped right into summer here.  The last two weeks have been so warm and so unusual for us.  They keep making promises of rain, but Mother Nature is having a field day with those predictions.  I am considering doing a few rain dances on the rooftop.  ;-)  I was out working in a flower bed today, but once the temp hit 92* I felt that was enough gardening.

The pear trees have burst out for a quick bloom and are already filling in with the green leaves.  I had to grab a picture from my mom's neighborhood when I was visiting this week.

As well...right by her front door a little hummingbird has made a nest and laid two of the tiniest eggs.  It will be so much fun to watch.  I can't wait to see how small the babies will be.

The weekend was so delightful that we decided to head to the beach.  Our daughter and her children came up and joined us on Saturday.  Although the water was chilly, it did not stop the little ones from venturing out into it.  The surf was huge and the surfers were loving it.

Sunrise walk

Monday was a day off of school for the grandaughters.  They have an upcoming event at their school and needed to make some costumes for it.  We had so much fun and a lot of giggles too.  They did a great job and even left wearing their outfits.

Block Lotto this month is the Snails Trail block so I pulled some of the brown fabrics out and stitched a few.  Seven of the blocks will stay here for my Old MacDonald quilt.

I'll be linking up with Midweek Makers this week.

Is anyone going to Quilt Con in Pasadena this week?  I am heading down and meeting up with several fellow bloggers while I am there.  I have not attended one before so I am looking forward to the event.

Thursday, February 11, 2016


As I mentioned in my last post, my blogging buddy, Soma, is doing a monthly series on photography.  If you have ever viewed her photos you would know how much I love seeing her posts.  This month her challenge was about lighting.  I decided to give it a try with my sewing projects this week.

First off is my word for the Spelling Bee that I have joined this year.  I am the bee queen for March and the words I am going for are sewing related.  First off is my "scissors" photographed in a bright, but shady area.

The next one is the same shot, but taken in bright sunlight at about 2 p.m.  The colors are much truer in the second photo.

Next up are a couple of mug rugs that I made for some friends who joined me for some sewing yesterday.  Both of the photos were taken in the morning light - one in bright sunshine...

....and the other in the filtered light from a patio cover.  The colors in the second one are much truer, but the quilting shows up better in the bright light.

Lastly, it is that time of the year for the kid's school auction.  As I have done for many years, I made a school uniform.  This photo was taken in filtered light....

....and this one was taken inside with a flash.  The detail is much better with the flash as are the colors.

Of course, I am using a point and shoot camera.  I am sure that the results would be much better with a better camera.  Then again....I am so grateful to have a camera where the results can be seen immediately.  Does anyone else remember when we used to have to wait a week for our film to be developed?

I am thoroughly looking forward to the year ahead with all of Soma's great hints.

In other happenings this week... I made a batch of my favorite OATMEAL cookies for the Super Bowl party.  They would have been great had I remembered to put the oatmeal in them!!!  Talk about a big mess.  Trying to clean that cookie sheet was a nightmare.  Would one not think if you were making oatmeal cookies you would remember to add the oatmeal??  Sometimes I worry about myself.

January's Block Lotto block was Birds in the Air and guess who was one of the winners.  These are the blocks that have arrived so far and I cannot tell you how beautifully made these have been.  I think I am going to have to become a BLUE person.  This month the block is Snail's Trail with browns - a color more in my comfort zone.

We've been enjoying summer here for the last week and forecast for another 4-5 days.  Of course I am loving the temps in the upper 80s each day, but it would be so nice to get some of that El Nino rain that they promised us this year.  Now they are saying that they will come in March.  After being told they would be here in January, then February I am beginning to wonder.

Friday, February 5, 2016

An Unscheduled Getaway

Have you ever wished that you could just get away?  Just imagine all that you could accomplish.  lol  Well.....I had my chance this week for an unscheduled getaway.

Last week was our annual family trip to the Sierras.  We always love watching the little ones enjoying the snow and this was no exception.  We were scheduled to come home on Sunday.  The big storm, Kayla, hit on Saturday, dumping feet of snow where we were.  It was beautiful, but when we went to get in the car we discovered that we had a ruptured brake line.  ;-(  The rest of the gang headed home while we were towed down the mountain for repairs.  Parts had to be ordered so we got a hotel.  After two days, more parts were needed that also had to be ordered.  Meanwhile, we were holed up in a hotel room and I was thankful that I had thought to grab my iPad and cross stitching from the vehicle before leaving it.  It was a long couple of days with temps in the teens, snow and ice everywhere and NO transportation.  But....that was earlier this week!  Life is now good again and we are home and back to the crazy and wonderful normal routine.

This was the view looking out of the hotel window.  Those chairs by the creek look a bit chilly to me.

Along the sewing front....I am participating in several bees this year.  One that I am really enjoying is the Spelling Bee.  These are my blocks for this month.  These should make a super cute quilt with all of the bugs.

The next bee is the Mid-Century Modern Bee.  I love that you have to be Mid century or above to belong.  These blocks are for Cindy.  These little books  (#booksforbabyquilt) are really fun.

There is a great new monthly series going on in blogland.  Soma of Whims and Fancies is doing a camera series.  Her photos are amazing and she is sharing some tips with us and allowing us to link up some of our photos as well.  Be sure to check it out.